I love the fact that when I sit down to write a blog post, I need to check the date on the device to see what day/date it is! Really and truly...I've done this a lot this trip.
When I last left off about a week or so ago, we had spent some rainy days in Denali NP. Alas, our time in the park came to an end and we stopped by on the way south to pickup Willow from her Canine Retreat. The owner of the resort said Willow had a great time exploring all of the property with her dog and that she ate normally etc..., which was a great relief to us as this was the first time for her in a kennel of any sort.
We traveled not too far south to Denali State Park and camped at Byers Lake. It was a great setting with a lakeside hiking trail and a great camp host. On the lakeside trail we discovered some great flora, nice views, and even a rustic cabin on its way to returning to the earth. That night we made a cinnamon streusel (from a box mix) in Dutch and enjoyed that for dessert for at least two nights. The highlight came in the morning when we realized that blue skies had returned and The Mountain might be out. We quickly dressed and scurried the 300m up the hill toward the viewpoint Upon emerging from the brush, we were presented with a perfectly framed view of Denali with just a whisper of clouds around the peak. If I believed in that sort of thing, I'd say I heard angels singing. We snapped a few shots while chatting with the volunteer store workers at the veterans memorial shop on the same site, and then made our way back to camp to pack up and get to the south viewpoint before Mother Nature brought the clouds back. Denali successfully viewed and photographed, we moved on toward our destination for the day, Anchorage.
A little north of Anchorage, we stopped for lunch in Wasilla, a sizeable town with all the commercialism we've come to expect as Americans. A bit of grocery shopping, and a treat of Qdoba burritos for lunch, enjoyed at Wassila lake, watching the residents enjoy what seemed to be a rare 'beach day' given the warm sun. Enough of that...it was time for the real destination of the day: Costco in Anchorage for some resupply of a few staples they sell in sizes appropriate for Byron's 75 square feet that has become our happy home for the summer.
That consumerism accomplished, we backtracked to a state campground on the north edge of town. After a brief conflict with another party over our initial camping spot, we were invited by a charming family on the next loop over to join their shared site. They were from Whitehorse YT, and also had an 11 year old daughter that Meghan got along with famously. We enjoyed the evening and morning chatting with them, played some frisbee, drank some beer, and feel that we made some friends that we truly hope to see again. We even met the next day for a hike up Flattop Mountain for a great view of the Anchorage area.
We explored downtown, including the open air market, town center, and some of the coastal neighborhoods with some really cool houses. One more night at that same campsite and it was on to the Kenai Peninsula for more exploring.
Pictures to go along with this post were published earlier under a similar title.